Performance of "To Valerie Solanas and Marilyn Monroe in Recognition of Their Desperation"
Artist Christopher Willes leads a group of musicians, dancers, artists, and actors to present Pauline Oliveros’s 1970 orchestral work “To Valerie Solanas and Marilyn Monroe in Recognition of Their Desperation”. Over the past week together at the museum they have been rehearsing, musicians and non-musicians, to develop an interpretation of this historic piece of experimental music. This event is the first showing in their process as they continue to develop an interdisciplinary staging of the work which will premiere in 2019.
Scored for any instrumentation, Oliveros wrote “To Valerie Solanas and Marilyn Monroe in Recognition of Their Desperation” after reading the radical feminist text “Scum Manifesto” by Valerie Solanas (who is also known for shooting Andy Warhol). The score instructs each performer to select five pitches with which to create very long tones throughout the performance. Insisting on “a continuous circulation of power” (Oliveros) between listening and sounding, between the group sound and individual tones, the work considers sound’s capacity to mark the spaces between us, and suggests that new political relations might arise through musical forms.
This work is made in collaboration with Anne Bourne, Allison Cameron, Ame Henderson, Anni Spadafora, Claire Harvie, Ellen Furey, Evan Webber, Germaine Liu, Ishan Dave, Paul Chambers, and Thomas Gill. This project is produced with the support of Public Recordings and the Toronto Arts Council.
6:30 pm: Doors Open
7 pm: Performance of “To Valerie Solanas and Marilyn Monroe in Recognition of Their Desperation”
About Feminist Art Museum
The Feminist Art Museum (FAM) is conceived of by curators Xenia Benivolski and Su-Ying Lee as a national, multi-site pilot project. FAM will use brick as a metaphoric and material reference to create a space for dialogue on institution building, place, space, and land.
FAM asks: What are ways of being on the land that have been supplanted by colonialism and patriarchy? What knowledge can institutions and culture makers access if seeking to approach these projects with a socio-political consciousness? Visitors to the Gardiner Museum are invited to participate in the symbolic building and disseminating gesture by contributing and bringing in their own bricks, which will become part of the installation in the gallery. The formation of the brick pile will take form over the course of the project as it grows.
Amid the installation, the exhibition hall will also host “riot rock rattles” made in a workshop facilitated by artist Tsēma Igharas, and public rehearsals led by artist Christopher Willes of Pauline Oliveros’ seminal “Sonic Meditations” to consider the sonic as a way to take up space.
About the Community Arts Space: Art is Change
The Gardiner Museum’s unique history and identity is rooted in the city, but its future is increasingly shaped by those beyond the core cultural corridor. As space increasingly becomes a premium downtown, the Gardiner has collaborated with six cultural and community partners to consider how institutional outreach can be re-shaped by local artists, curators, and architects. Looking to the rapid high-rise developments happening within the Museum’s own Yorkville neighbourhood, the projects in Art is Change consider how the city’s unique and varied local histories of art and social activism can be re-mapped for the future.